Current Affairs Daily Updates: 20th and 21st June 2017

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Current Affairs Daily Updates: 20th and 21st June 2017
Union Government ropes in Amitabh Bachchan to promote Goods and Service Tax
  • The Central Government roped in Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan to promote Goods and Services Tax (GST), ahead of the sweeping tax reform’s implementation scheduled from July 1.
  • The Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) will be making the 74-year-old Bachchan brand ambassador for GST.
  • Ace badminton star PV Sindhu was previously the GST ambassador.
Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind Resigns
  • Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind resigned his Bihar Governor Post.
  • His resignation follows his nomination as the ruling  National Democratic Alliance (NDA) Presidential Candidate.
  • President Pranab Mukherjee accepted his resignation as the Governor of Bihar.
India re-nominates Justice Dalveer Bhandari for another term as ICJ Judge
  • Justice Dalveer Bhandari nominated by India as its candidate for another nine-year term as judge of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the principal judicial organ of the United Nations.
  • The Security Council to a seat on the International Court of Justice, which is also known as the World Court.
  • The ICJ is composed of 15 judges elected to nine-year terms by the United Nations General Assembly and the Security Council.
UNICEF appoints 19-year-old education activist and Syrian refugee as Goodwill Ambassador
  • The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) appoints Muzoon Almellehan as Goodwill Ambassador for Refugees.
  • She is the first person with an official refugee status to become an Ambassador for the United Nations agency.
  • According to UNICEF data, an estimated 25 million children of primary and secondary school are out of school in conflict zones around the world.
Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute bags PM’s Yoga Award
  • Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute, Pune become the first recipient of the Prime Minister’s Award for outstanding contribution to promotion and development of Yoga.
  • PM’s Yoga Award was instituted at the 2nd International Day of Yoga celebrations at Chandigarh by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
  • Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute worked to spread Yoga both domestically and internationally over a period of four decades.
Qatar Airways wins Airline of the Year Award
  • Qatar Airways announced as the World's Best Airline at SKYTRAX 2017 World Airline Awards.
  • Skytrax (originally known as Inflight Research Services) is a United Kingdom–based consultancy which runs an airline and airport review and ranking site.
  • The Doha-based carrier won the Best Airline of the year title for the fourth time.
  • The other major awards are.
    • World's Best First Class: Etihad Airways;
    • World's Best Economy Class: Thai Airways;
    • World's Best Low-Cost Airline: AirAsia;
    • World's Best Airline Alliance: Star Alliance;
    • Most Improved Airline: Saudi Arabian.
Union Government signs loan of $275 million with ADB to upgrade 64 small towns of Madhya Pradesh
  • The Government of India (GOI) and Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed USD 275 million loans for a piped water supply project for rapidly urbanizing small towns.
  • It will cover 3 lakh households in 64 small towns in Madhya Pradesh.
  • The Government of Madhya Pradesh will provide counterpart support of $124 million.
  • The project will run for almost five years with an expected completion date of June 2022.
Lockheed Martin signs agreement with Tata to Make F-16 Fighter Jets in India
  • United States based aerospace and defense manufacturing firm Lockheed Martin signed an agreement with Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL) to manufacture and export the F-16 Block 70 aircraft from India.
  • Lockheed Martin is one of the largest aerospace, defense, security, and advanced technologies companies having worldwide interests.
  • Make-in-India in conflict with President Donald Trump’s America first campaign where the companies to invest in the United States and create jobs instead of establishing factories abroad.
Vedanta to set up steel plant in Jharkhand in JV with JSMDC
  • The Vedanta group and Jharkhand Mineral Development Corporation (JSMDC) set up a steel plant at Manoharpur in West Singhbhum district.
  • The total Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) of Rs 700 crore has been signed and project proposals worth Rs 15 to 16,000 crore will be effective in July.
  • The Government also plans to set up a world-class airport in Dhalbhumgarh under Ghatsila sub-division of East Singhbum district.
Reliance Defence inks partnership with Serbia’s Yugoimport to manufacture ammunition in India
  • Anil Ambani Group company Reliance Defence Ammunition entered a strategic partnership with Serbia’s state-run defence major Yugoimport to manufacture ammunition in India.
  • They start the business with the minimum requirement of Rs 20,000 crores.
  • Yugoimport, a state-owned enterprise, is a market leader in the field of ammunition production and has offered a fully compliant technical solution to meet the Make in India requirements of the Indian Government.
Hike Messenger partners with YES Bank to launch in-app Wallet
  • Messaging app Hike added payments feature with YES Bank allows its over 100 million users to transfer money, recharge and pay mobile bills through the messaging platform.
  • The Hike is the first in India to launch payments facility on a messaging platform.
  • Hike improved the user interface as well as added new features to the camera on the app.
  • It will allow free and instant bank-to-bank transfer via unified payments interface (UPI).
Larsen & Toubro launches floating dock for Indian Navy
  • Larsen and Toubro ( L&T) announced the launch of a floating dock, designed and built for the Indian Navy, at the company's Greenfield shipyard at Kattupalli near Chennai.
  • Floating Dock (FDN-2) is India's first originating built floating dock.
  • It is 185 meters long and 40 meters wide and is designed for docking Indian Navy ships and submarines of up to 8,000 tons of displacement.
IDBI Federal Life partners with SunTec for GST roll out
  • IDBI Federal Life Insurance partnered with SunTec company.
  • Under the agreement, for the debt tax mandate, SunTec will help in analyzing data from various sources for computation and invoicing purposes.
  • SunTec will help in analyzing data from various sources for computation and invoicing purposes.
JUNE 20th: World Refugee Day
  • The World Refugee Day (WRD) is observed on June 20 across the world.
  • This year, World Refugee Day also marks a key moment for the public to show support for families.
  • It is the day the world commemorates the strength, courage, and perseverance of millions of refugees.
JUNE 21st: International Yoga Day
  • The International Day of Yoga is celebrated on June 21 across the world.
  • The theme for 2017 organized by the Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations is 'Yoga for Health.'
  • The theme highlights that yoga can contribute in a holistic way to achieving an equilibrium between mind and body.
India becomes 71st country to sign UN International Convention on Road Transports
  • India became the 71st country to sign the United Nations International Convention on Road Transports (TIR).
  • TIR will help India to integrate with Myanmar and Thailand as well as Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Nepal.
  • TIR is managed and developed by IRU - The world road transport organization.
Australia announces online visa applications for Indians from July 1
  • The Australian Government announced that Indian Nationals can apply for a visitor visa online starting from 1 of July 2017.
  • It offers benefits like 24/7 accessibility, electronic payment of the visa application.
Sweden pledges to reach net-zero carbon emissions by the year 2045
  • Sweden pledged to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2045 in an ambitious move to tackle climate change.
  • The vote makes Sweden the first country to significantly strengthen its climatic changes since Paris Agreement 2015.
  • The first climate report will be presented in the second half of 2018, and first action plan will be presented in the year of 2019.
India and Portugal Sign a Historical agreement to promote Cooperation in The Field of Archives
  • India and Portugal signed a protocol of cooperation in the field of archives.
  • As a part of the Cooperation, the Torre do Tombo (National Archives of Portugal) has handed over digital copies of 62 volumes of the collection known as ‘Moncoes do Reino’ (Monsoon correspondence) to the National Archives of India.
  • These volumes serve as the most important primary source for the study of the Portuguese expansion in Asia and their trade rivalries with the Arabs and European powers as well as their relations with neighboring Kings in South Asia and East Asia.
Saudi Arabia's Mohammed bin Salman appointed Crown Prince
  • Saudi Arabia's King Salman appointed his son, Mohammed bin Salman shuffle, and as the predecessor.
  • The newly-announced crown prince was also named Deputy Prime Minister and maintained his post as defense minister.
Union Government launched Mobile App “Celebrating Yoga”
  • Minister for Science & Technology Dr. Harshvardhan launched a Mobile App “Celebrating Yoga”.
  • The Mobile App has been developed by Department of Science & Technology, Ministry of Science & Technology on the occasion of International Yoga Day 2017.
  • The aim of the app is to popularize Yoga and encourage people to practice yoga for a scientifically healthy living.
Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai becomes first Indian building to get a Trademark
  • The 114-year old Taj Palace (also referred to as Taj Mahal Palace) in Mumbai became first Indian building to get itself trademarked joining the elite and small club of trademarked properties in the World which includes the Empire State Building in New York, the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
  • Taj Palace getting a trademark is a unique feature as the registration of an architectural design never been attempted since the Trademark Act came into force in 1999.
Shri Piyush Goyal Launches Energy Conservation Building Code 2017
  • Union Minister Shri Piyush Goyal Launches Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC 2017).
  • The updated version of ECBC provides current as well as futuristic advancements in building technology to further reduce building energy consumption and promote low-carbon growth.
  • ECBC 2017 was developed by BEE with technical support from United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under the U.S.-India bilateral Partnership to Advance Clean Energy – Deployment Technical Assistance (PACE-D TA) Program.
Madhya Pradesh Government announces power subsidy for Farm Sector
  • The Madhya Pradesh Government announced a subsidy of Rs8,700 crore to electricity consumers on tariff implemented by the state electricity regulatory commission for 2017-18.
  • SC/ST farmers holding one-hectare land and consuming up to 5 horsepower will get free electricity.
  • Agriculture consumers having permanent connections will get Rs 1.70 subsidy per unit.
Telangana Government launched 'Hyderabad City Wi-Fi' project around 1000 cities
  • The Telangana Government launched the 'Hyderabad City Wi-Fi' project, providing the wireless Networking Technology at over 1,000 public places in the city.
  • Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) is the technical adviser to the Telangana Government on the project.
  • The network has now been installed at 1,000 hotspots with an assured bandwidth of 5-10 Mbps offering 30 minutes of free wi-fi.
Punjab Government announced Free Education For Girls From Nursery To PhD
  • The Punjab Government announced free education for girls in Government Schools and colleges from Nursery to Ph.D.
  • Reservation for women in Panchayati Raj Institutions and Urban Local Bodies has already been increased by the government from 33 per cent to 50 per cent.
  • The free Wi-Fi for 13,000 primary schools and all 48 Government Colleges.
ISRO’s Mars Orbiter Mission completes 1000 Earth Days in Orbit
  • Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) completes 1000 earth days in orbit.
  • The MOM has at present completed 388 orbits of Mars and has sent 715 images back to earth.
  • India plans to send Mangalyaan 2.0 and a new mission to Venus after 2020.
  • The Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) was launched into space on November 5, 2013, from Satish Dhawan Space Centre using a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) rocket C25.
Indian Space Research Organisation to launch Earth Observation Satellite
  • The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is all set to launch an Earth-Observation Satellite, named Cartosat-2E.
  • Cartosat-2 series weighing 712 kg and 30 nano-satellites using Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV).
  • Out of the 30 nano-satellites, 29 will be of foreign origin and one will be of India.
  • The 29 nano-satellites will be from 14 countries such as Austria, Belgium, Britain, Chile, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, and the US.
  • This will be the seventeenth flight of PSLV in ‘XL’ configuration.
Indian Wushu Team bags six medals in BRICS Games
  • India won six medals in the Wushu competition of the first ever Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) Games concluded in Guangzhou, China.
  • The medals comprised two each in gold, silver, and bronze.
    • M. Gyandas and Anjul Namdev won one gold each.
    • The two silver medals won by Bidheswari Devi and Toshibala.
    • L. Sanatgombhi Chanu and Sajan Lama won bronze medal.
Iranian freestylers won Junior Asian Championships Title
  • The Iranian wrestlers won 7 medals (three gold, two silver, and two bronze) and 69 points to win the Junior Asian Championships title.
  • Uzbekistan won 67 points to rank second in the Wrestlers list.
  • India’s won gold in the women’s 51kg freestyle category through Puja.
    • Sonu won a silver medal in the 44kg category.
    • Manu won a bronze in the 59kg division.
    • Satish won a silver in the 120kg Greco-Roman style while Manish got a bronze in the 50kg category.
    • Indian wrestlers won three medals, including a gold by Sharvan in men’s 60kg freestyle category.
    • Deepak Punia won the silver medal in the 84kg freestyle.
    • Karan won a bronze in 66kg freestyle.
Mumbai girl Ahana wins bronze at junior chess meet in United Kingdom
  • Mumbai girl Ahana Shah won a bronze medal  Under-7 category of the 2017 Kenilworth Junior Open Rapid Chess Tournament in the United Kingdom.
  • She also won a bronze medal in the Under-6 category of the National Age group chess championships category in Singapore.
  • Ahana was the silver medalist in the Under-6 category of the Maharashtra State Schools competition last year.